Fourteen years ago I bought 9 Populus tremula trees and planted them in our paddock/woodland, about 50 metres from our house. My reason was to create a beautiful blaze of yellow in the autumn, as I had seen in North America. But there was never a blaze of yellow, just muddy grey-brown. Then last year I noticed hundreds or thousands of suckers protruding all over the paddock and amongst all the other trees of which there are 80. It took me months before I realized they were poplar suckers. Strimming the entire woodland paddock appeared only to make them stronger and to multiply. I cut down all the Populus tremula trees, and chopped them up for for wood. Each stump is just a few inches above the ground. But throughout the paddock this spring, a year after cutting down all the poplars, I can see these suckers emerging everywhere. I walk around the paddock daily spotting the suckers and wrenching them off. I find and remove maybe 60 every day. Most are weak, but some are ligneous and sometimes my pull reveals there to be a horizontal rootlet just under the surface of the ground. I plan to strim the woodland area once or perhaps twice this year simply to try to eradicate the poplar suckers. Please advise me if what I am doing is correct or wrong in order to eradicate these suckers, and advise if there is any other method I should use, for example, I could, if you advise, make cuts down into the tree stumps and pour on strong glyphosate. That might work, do you think? John Hawson email@example.com
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Your best chance of slowing down or eliminating the suckers is first to have the trunks removed.
My research shows that the time consuming task of cutting the shoots and then dapping the cut seedling with a herbicide is the best coarse of action.
Eventually you can win this war!